Captains walk off Whitecaps again, 4-3
BY ANDREW GUARINO
(EASTLAKE, OH) – Going into Sunday's game against the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Lake County Captains were looking to win the game and end their longest homestand of the year (12 games) on a high note. Coming into the game, the Captains were 5-6 on the homestand and 3-2 versus the Whitecaps. It took 12 innings, but the Captains walked off the Whitecaps for the third time in the series, this time 4-3 and secure the series win.
Lake County sent Mason Hickman to the mound; coming into the game, Hickman was 6-6 with a 5.09 ERA. Hickman could be described as an on or off pitcher. When he is on, Hickman is fabulous; when Hickman has a bad game, he really struggles. On the opposite side of things, the Whitecaps sent Brendan White to the hill. White started the season in the bull pen but became a starter just a one and a half months into the season.
Mason Hickman got off to a rough start as he walked the Whitecaps' lead-off batter Wenceel Perez on just five pitches. Parker Meadows was the next batter; Hickman sat him down on strikes after an eight pitch at bat, during which Perez stole second and then moved to third on a bad throw by catcher Joe Donovan. The Captains paid for the error as Andrew Navigato singled to score Perez and then Daniel Cabrera doubled off the wall in left to give the Whitecaps an early 2-0 lead. However, after the Cabrera double, Mason Hickman got on a roll and shut down the final 14 batters he faced. His final line was five innings with two runs on two hits while walking one and striking out seven.
It would take Lake County to the fifth inning to break through against Brendan White. Joe Naranjo led off the inning with a double followed by a scorched single from Raynel Delgado that deflected off the glove of the Whitecaps' second baseman Andrew Navigato and into very shallow second. The deflection allowed Naranjo to score, and then Delgado advanced to second on the throw home.
West Michigan got the run back in the sixth inning. A throwing error by Joe Donovan trying to pick off Parker Meadows at third went to left field which allowed Meadows to score. Daniel Cabrera, who was on first when the play started, also tried to score but was thrown out by the Captains' left fielder Quentin Holmes.
The bottom of the sixth for the Captains also had an interesting play. Julian Escobedo singled to lead off the sixth inning. After the single Jared Tobey came into pitch for the Whitecaps. George Valera singled to center, which put runners on first and second with no one out. Jose Tena batted next; he grounded out to the third baseman, who threw to second base to get the force. This put runners on the corners. When José Tena attempted to steal second, he got in a rundown and was tagged out, during the rundown Julian Escobedo scored to cut the Whitecaps' lead to one.
Lake County tied things up in the eighth inning. Joe Donovan led the inning off with a walk, which led to Zac Shepherd to pinch run for him. Quentin Holmes grounded into a force out at second. Holmes then stole second and was called safe, West Michigan’s staff did not agree. Then Holmes advanced on a wild pitch to third, then came around to score on a ground ball by George Valera. The game remained tied and forced extra innings as the Captains looked for their third walkoff of the series.
Chris Mauloni came into the game for the Whitecaps to pitch the tenth. For the Captains, Gianpaul Gonzalez was the batter on second. Gonzalez advanced to third with a walk and then the Whitecaps went ahead and walked George Valera and Jose Tena, which loaded the bases intentionally with two outs. Micah Pries came to the plate and struck out, leaving the bases loaded.
With Michael Pries starting the home half of the 11th on second, Joe Naranjo took a walk after a seven pitch at bat. Despite once again having a prime scoring chance, Lake County could not capitalize, which led to the twelfth inning.
The Captains won it in the twelfth. Quentin Holmes executed a sac bunt perfectly to advance Gianpaul Gonzalez to third. Julian Escobedo then hit a single two pitches later to walk it off for Lake County, giving them their third walkoff in as many days.
The Captains now head on a six-game road trip as they travel to Dayton to take on the Dragons game time on Tuesday is 7”05 p.m.. The Captains return home on Tuesday the August 24th to play the Great Lakes Loons.
POSTED 08/15/2021 21:23